March 31, 2014

RUTH KASSINGER - BOOK GIVEAWAY

RUTH KASSINGER'S NEWEST BOOK A GARDEN OF MARVELS  - CURRENTLY ON MY BED TABLE, AND
HERE, IN THE GREENHOUSE ON A RAINY DAY. 


It's rare today, to find an author who will not only research each topic well, but who will bother to jump not on the Internet, but into a car or onto a plane, to go visit a nursery - to experience it, and then to write so thoughtfully about the entire experience. Ruth Kassinger is such an author. I'm not sure how to say this eloquently, but here's the honest truth - her two recent books A GARDEN OF MARVELS and PARADISE UNDER GLASS sit next to my bed table ( well, sometimes on the floor - but hey, that's where I keep my favorite books - you know, the ones I actually pick up and read most every night).

***** The Winner of this book away is AmyO ( who, full disclosure, I know very well - but again, thanks to Random.com - is indeed the winner. Congratulations Amy!******




A GARDEN OF MARVELS is one on those rare books that I can read a few chapters of each night, whispering out loud "Oh wow" or," Oh my God" and still jot notes down in my notebook, for a plant that I might need to find. It's that sort of cross-over book, that I can read, appealing to my horticultural geekyness, and yet I can share it with a non-gardeners, who would find it equally as interesting.

For what it's worth, for  book to remain on my side table for so long is perhaps the best praise I could ever bestow on a book (Really - that Real Estate is hot in my little world - a silly world which is jam packed with journals, iPads, laptops, lorazapam, empty glasses of wine, tv remotes, Candy Crush and bottles of Evian and an alarm clock.) I admit, I am a piece of work, but I do love my personal time when I can read - and there are far too many books that just remain in the bookcase.

So, althgouh I am a bit 'picky' what I choose to read - any book  that can hold my short attention span on the downside of Ritalin for weeks on end deserves praise. Ruth joins a handful of selected favorite authors in this private club of the bedside table including the likes of Wayne Winterrowd, Thalasa Cruso, Bernd Heinrich and Ruth Stout. Yes, all light reading, but totally an informed and immersive sort of reading environment - exactly what I crave.


I spent some time Saturday repotting seedling and orchids in the greenhouse, taking short breaks to read Ruth Kassingers latest book. Here, a Dendrobium linguiforme blooms on a post.


I first met Ruth Kassinger at a garden bloggers conference last September. After I spoke to a large crowd, she came up to me and introduced herself briefly - we chatted about greenhouses, and conservatories, and she handed be her card, all the while telling me about her newest project, a book about building a conservatory, her journey through the process ( which included everything from a diagnosis of Cancer, to overcoming many hurdles in both dealing with a life change, a family death, and rebirth through plants).

Later that month, I received a package in the mail from her publisher with her book Paradise Under Glass. I didn't have high expectations at first, feeling that this could very well end up being a book about dealing with a horrid disease, and then, recovery perhaps. Not something I am sure that I would want to relive right now, at least, not before I go to bed. But once I passed through the first chapter, I discovered that Ruth and I shared a lot of passions in life, and even though she was more on the learning/beginner end of gardening, and in constructing a greenhouse, I could not only relate, I found that while spending each evening on the journey with her, helped me rediscover my passion for plants.



In her most recent book, A GARDEN OF MARVELS, I am continuing on her same journey, but on deeper mission. To be honest I have not finished the book yet, as I am a slow reader, but as I said earlier - there are very few books that I read completely - page 1 to the end, but Ruth's books are in my top 7. I am one third through the book, and delighted with it even more than the first. It's a beautiful hardcover book, with a nice deckle edge and great cover design ( I am a sucker for nice books, with good hand feel, paper quality and typography, and this book has all of that - so refreshing today.


A GARDEN OF MARVELS, By Ruth Kassinger, available at bookstores everywhere, and at Amazon


Ruth must love researching, as she can jump from the history of glass greenhouses, to poly hoop houses in Florida where citrus grafting takes place, back to the 19th century, all within a single chapter. If she has an interest in begonia's or rare tropical conservatory plants, she actually drives north to Logee's in CT to find out from their owners, the exact history of a plant, or even their greenhouse business. She is a story teller supreme, but a factual one - the best kind. No fiction here, just interesting curious backstories, which all seem to connect in various chapters to help her make a point.





I am going to give away my second copy of A Garden of Marvels, so please leave a comment and I will draw next Friday night. Good luck!


38 comments :

  1. I love a great garden book, sign me up!

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  2. I always enjoy your blogs Matt & and how wonderful Garden of Marvels sounds ! What a great gift that would be to a lucky reader :)

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  3. I am a sucker for good looking books too and this one looks like a beauty! I will have to look up Paradise Under Glass as I am kind of a newbie/learning gardener!

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful book to share ! I sure enjoy reading your garden blog Matt & along with gardening- I love to read - what a nice surprise for someone to receive this book !

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  5. Looks like an amazing book! Not just for a rainy day, but also for a snowy/sleety/freezing rain day since winter will never end.

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  6. Well, you have sold me. Sounds like the kind of author I want to read. I would love a copy of this book, and if I don't win, I intend to buy both of these books anyway. So nice to hear that someone else enjoys Thalasa Cruso and Ruth Stout!

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  7. Ruth sounds like a fascinating person who was just waiting for the right time to write her book. I would love to own a copy of A GARDEN OF MARVELS!

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  8. The journey of creating gardens is magical. Love to read about yours on this blog.

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  9. The journey of creating gardens is magical. I enjoy reading about your gardens throughout the seasons and all the other details of living with nature.

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  10. I loved Ruth's first book. Looking forward to reading this one as well. I love how you wrote about the books on the table/floor beside your bed. I have the same here. There's also a stack next to my computer, the couch, etc. Things look beautiful in your greenhouse. Reminds me I must go water everything again.~~Dee

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  11. so interested in what this book can teach me!! thank you for the giveaway!

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  12. Something's gotta make this nasty New England prolonged winter feel better...and this sounds like it!
    Great blog, love the plant collection you have!!

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  13. What a beautiful book, I want one!

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  14. Just discovered Eck & Winterrowd and read every single book they penned - in less than a month! I would love something to help overcome this strange new void by my bedside...

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  15. Sounds like a great book to read while it's sleeting outside.

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  16. Matt, I love your review, and the bedside table of a "Piece of Work." Aren't we all? Please count me in on the drawing. I have meant to read Paradise Under Glass for years, but starting with A Garden of Marvels would be dandy. I too am a sucker for beautiful books that feel good to hold.

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  17. Sounds like a great read..... yes, please.

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  18. You certainly know how to pique ones interest ... your reading style and interests mimic mine!

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  19. Anonymous5:46 PM

    I would love to read this book. I am a plant person. I have worked in the field for over 20 years. I still have my first houseplant, which I took from the neighbor's yard 56 years ago (it's a cordyline). I grow about 50 plants indoors here in VT, down from 120 (it's a small house). Almost my whole yard is garden. Did I mention that I'd love to read this book?

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  20. "A Garden of Marvels" sounds wonderful! Thank you for reviewing it and for sharing your second copy. I too have a pile of books next to my bed. I can't wait for planting season to start!

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  21. Thalasa Cruso and Bernd Heinrich are personal favorite so it sounds like I would enjoy Ruth's book as well. Love the Geranium at the end do the post.

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  22. Hey matt.....I own Ruth's first book but haven't read it yet. And I really want to read this one! My husband Steve knows Ruth and dated her sister Joan way back in his younger days.
    I'm really looking forward to reading both books now! Thanks for the great review and the chance to win her book.

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    1. Hi Matt.....I hate to be a nag...but you still owe me this book!! I forgot to remind you about it at the primrose show and now I don't know when we'll get together again, sooooo could you send it to me please??

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  23. Thank you for this review, this sounds like a really engaging and interesting, as well as lovely, book.

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  24. Both of her books sound like must reads! Thanks for the review!

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  25. I'm always curious about garden books. Is there really anything new to say about the subject? Nevertheless, I continue to try. Would love to read this one. Thanks.

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  26. Reading a good garden/plant book is nearly as good as being in the garden!

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  27. Sounds like a great read! Susan

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  28. The book is really interesting in fact lately i am reading some book about polymer battery and look's like that i need to change it and focus now on my garden.

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  29. sounds lovely. count me in.

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  30. Her work sounds wonderful!

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  31. Looks like a great book!

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  32. Sounds like an interesting book! :) I´m excited to get to read this one!

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  33. Well, I got all sorts of excited at your mentioning this with a link to amazon, that I immediately ordered a copy before seeing that you would be giving one away. Whoever gets your second copy will be quite happy, I am sure.

    Cheers!

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  34. YAY!! I won! Thanks Matt and when I see you in a few weeks you can give me the book then. It will be my reading for the time we're at the APS show!!

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  35. Anonymous10:24 AM

    I enjoy reading your blog very much. I just love all your plants. I so envy your greenhouse. The book sounds very interesting.

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  36. I love these images! they are amazing did you take the pictures yourself?

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